NORTON, OH (WOIO) - A Summit County church ravaged by flames late Wednesday night.
Fire broke out at The Father's House Church on Wadsworth Road in Norton around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Over a dozen fire departments helped battle the intense blaze. It took crews several hours to bring the blaze under control. There were no fire hydrants in the immediate area, so crews brought in extra tankers.
19 Action News has learned a firefighter injured when the church roof collapsed. The firefighter was knocked onto his back. He was taken to the hospital after the fall for minor injuries. He has since been treated and released.
Luckily, no one was inside the church when the fire started. The last service at the church ended at 9 p.m. Wednesday night.
Due to failed levies and funding shortfalls, the Norton Fire Department is not staffed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This hindered efforts to effectively fight the fire when it started.
"If we keep going this way, we are going to cost a fireman his life," said Norton Fire Chief Mike Schultz. "If this was 11:30 p.m. in a residential structure, and people were asleep in it, this would be a lot worse situation right now."
There is a Norton Fire Department funding levy on the ballot in November.
The church is considered a total loss, but the pastor of the church tells 19 Action News he plans to rebuild with insurance help.
The State Fire Marshal is now investigating.